July 10, 2018
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is “Because of her, we can …” so it was fitting that women featured strongly in Cherbourg Council’s annual NAIDOC Awards ceremony on Monday.
The awards were presented at a community morning held at the Winifred Fisher Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) in Cherbourg.
Community Person of the Year was respected Cherbourg Elder Aunty Ada Simpson – a former librarian and Cherbourg councillor, member of the Barambah Local Justice Group, and an active volunteer at The Ration Shed Museum.
Sportsperson of the Year was well-known local rugby league player Heather Sandow, who played for the U16 Central Crows at the weekend in the State Junior Championships in Mackay.
Women also picked up the community awards on behalf of Gundoo Child Care, Ny-Ku Byun and the very dedicated group of Council workers who look after the Cherbourg Cemetery.
But the men weren’t forgotten, either.
Musician Steve Hart was presented with the Arts award, and Murgon State School student Christian Simpson won the Youth award.
Cherbourg Deputy Mayor Elvie Sandow delivered the opening address, which was based on the NAIDOC theme.
She was then followed at the microphone by Dr Linda Stewart.
Linda explained how she went to school at Wondai and Kingaroy, then on to university where she earned a Bachelor of Health Science and a Bachelor of Medicine.
It is now two years since she completed her degree and she is working at Toowoomba Hospital.
“I am hoping to inspire people to go and get an education and achieve what you want to achieve,” she said.
“If you are dedicated, you will get there.”
Other speakers at the awards included Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, who is the State Government’s appointed “champion” for Cherbourg.